Controversial. Unforgettable. Annual. These are merely three of the words that have frequently described popular music's most uproarious night of the year, the MTV Video Music Awards. With the 30th installment coming up on Sunday, August, 25 and emanating for the first time from Brooklyn, it’s only fitting since the Moonman’s launching pad is in one of Hip Hop’s dominant boroughs that we look back at Hip Hop’s history at the VMA’s.
Hip Hop has had a presence at the Video Music Awards since the very first show back in 1984. There, Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking “Rockit” (which featured the then avant-garde practice of record scratching) video lead the night in terms of honors, taking home five Moonmen—two more than Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The next year, Run-DMC opened the show, explaining the process of how the awards were voted on, making them the first Hip Hop VMA performance. Despite this, it wouldn’t be until 1987 that a Rap video was nominated for a Video Music Award as their clip, “Walk This Way” lost in both “Best Stage Performance” and “Best Overall Performance” to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” respectively. The next year the Fat Boys were joined by Chubby Checker to perform “The Twist,” and the live Hip Hop performance became a VMA staple. READ MORE